Officials with the University of Georgia athletic department confirmed that the vehicle involved in an accident that killed a football player and an employee would be used strictly for recruiting activities.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Georgia Athletic Association said the SUV was not intended for extracurricular activities and that use of the car for personal reasons was «strictly prohibited.»
Offensive lineman Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy, 24, were killed several hours after the Bulldogs wrapped up a parade to celebrate the program’s second straight national title.
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LeCroy was working in the contracting department and was driving the van at the time of the accident. Offensive lineman Warren McClendon and staff member Victoria Bowles were also inside the vehicle at the time.
McClendon, who had just announced plans to enter the NFL draft, suffered minor injuries. Bowles was hospitalized with multiple serious injuries.
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Earlier this week, Josh Brooks, Georgia’s director of athletics, confirmed that no one in the vehicle was engaged in athletic department duties at the time.
«The car he was driving in the accident was one of several vehicles leased by our athletic department for exclusive use during recruiting activities,» the athletic association said in Saturday’s statement.
School officials added that the car was being rented and should have been returned.
«Policies and expectations well understood by athletic staff dictated that such rental vehicles be turned in upon immediate completion of recruiting efforts,» the school said.
«Personal use was strictly prohibited. Therefore, continued use of the rental car by our staff members after they finished their recruiting duties that night was not authorized.»
The accident happened around 2:45 a.m., not far from the Georgia campus. According to an accident report released by the Athens-Clarke Police Department, the SUV struck a power pole and a second utility pole, cutting it in half.
The car spun, hitting several trees and another parked car before finally coming to a stop.
Police listed excessive speed on a highway with a 40 mph limit as one of the main causes of the accident. Willock was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was thrown from the vehicle.
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«We continue to cooperate fully with investigators,» the statement from the athletic association said. «Above all, our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of those we lost and those who were injured in this tragic accident.»
Associated Press contributed to this report.